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15 Dec 2014

Houseowner benefit thief sent money to Pakistan

A benefits cheat smuggled the stolen cash to his family overseas to help pay off ‘gambling debts’. (h/t A Reader)

Jhan Zaib fleeced £17,351 from the system by claiming he was an unemployed single dad on the breadline. In reality, the father-of-three was married and had a regular job at an Oldham tyre firm.

Investigators from the DWP learned that Zaib was sending the money abroad using electronic money transfer services. He claimed following his arrest that the money was used to pay his brother’s gambling debts after his parents came under pressure from gangsters in Pakistan.

Zaib, who owns his own home at Stafford Street, Oldham, was spared jail after a Manchester Crown Court judge said locking him away for a short period of time would not benefit the public.

The 37-year-old, who has no previous convictions, has so far paid back £1,600 of the money he took and would have been entitled to some benefits legitimately if he had come clean.

He "owns his own house", remember.

The court also heard Zaib’s claims for council tax, housing benefit and income support were genuine at the beginning.

When Zaib first started claiming in 2008, his marriage had broken down, he was out of work and looking after his daughter.

But he failed to tell the authorities when he remarried months later and got a job, going on to have two more children.

Our reader comments: "It's easy to forget a new wife, new job and new kids".

When his accounts were investigated by the DWP last year, they found he was getting wages from Hollinwood Tyre and Exhaust Centre and that he had been cheating the system for four and a half years.

He went on to admit failing to disclose a change in circumstances.

Had Zaib not pleaded guilty, he could have been given six months in jail. But with the significant discount for his guilty plea, the judge concluded it wasn’t worth locking him away. Ordering him to serve a four-month sentence, suspended for a year, with 200 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Martin Rudland said: “It doesn’t seem to me, having regard to your age, circumstances and previous good character, that the public interest is served by you immediately losing your liberty.”

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